At Quoted, we love a good road trip, but whether you have hours on the open road stretched out before you, or you’re just taking the kids to school, road trip games can brighten up even the most mundane car rides. We know what you’re thinking: games like I Spy and The Alphabet would be more likely to cause the entire car to fall asleep from boredom than anything else. But before you dismiss car games in favor of a private round of Candy Crush, check out our list of games that are actually fun to play (for kids and grown-ups alike). We know playing well together is a reward in itself (thanks, Mom), but you can also up the ante and make the games a little more interesting by offering quirky prizes to the winners. If you’re road-tripping, let the winner choose the other players’ beverage at lunch, or which bed they get to sleep in at the hotel.
Kid-Friendly Games (Also Great for the Young at Heart)
Keeping kids occupied in the car is an art, and in our experience, the best tools are novelty and anything that makes them laugh. Here we go:
Name That Car
The premise is simple: name every car coming at you from the opposite direction. To compete, tally how many each person correctly names (first one to name the car gets the point). If you really know your stuff, you might be able to name a car just by the headlights alone.
Virtual Hide and Seek
First, choose a location everyone in the car is familiar with—your house, if you’re traveling with your family, or even a well-known spot in town, like a popular restaurant—and elect one person to “hide” first. Everyone else in the car can then start guessing the hiding spot—play it like a game of “hotter/colder,” and remember you could even “hide” in spots a person couldn’t fit—in the bookcase, or under the living room rug.
Make a list of items ahead of time, and give a copy to each player. If you’re headed somewhere new, you can include landmarks along the way. A scavenger hunt can be great for well-traveled routes as well—if you choose unusual items, you can get the kids to see familiar sites in a new way.
Name that Tune
An oldie-but-goodie, this one explains itself. Choose a theme to make it more challenging (pop songs, lullabies, classic rock), or play along with the radio if you aren’t much of a singer.
Grown-up Car Games
Car games aren’t just for the kiddos—they’re great for a car full of friends driving down to spring break, for lovebirds, and even for keeping the driver engaged on trips that keep you out past bedtime. Some of our favorites:
Our current fav: Google autocomplete as a game of Family Feud. Google has turned the casual pastime of typing a word into the search bar and guessing what autocomplete will suggest into a legit Family-Feud style game. Just like Family Feud, you choose a category, and then guess how Google completes the phrase. The one, two, three of it:
- Choose “Questions,” and let Google prompt you with something like “Should I be a …”
- Guess the most popular completions
- Family Feud rules apply: points are earned by how popular your guess is, and three wrong guesses means you’re out
A multiplayer option doesn’t yet exist, so if you want to compete with teams, you’ll have to keep score the old fashioned way (in your phone’s “notes,” obviously).
We know this is technically a kids’ game, but we’d really like to claim it for the adults—who’s with us? Take Battleship on the road with pre-made printable sheets and imagine collecting those gray plastic ships from your childhood (or make models and bring them along, no one’s judging).
The Buzzer Game
Certainly suitable for families, kids, and good sports of all ages, we think this game might be most fun with a group of friends—we’re picturing a college road trip or a trip to the beach. For this game, set a timer, then elect one person to answer questions from everyone else in the car for one minute straight—the catch is, if the person in the “hot seat” answers “yes” or “no” to a question, everyone else sounds the “buzzer,” and they lose that round.
What games do you play on road trips? We’d love to hear about them in the comments!